Lilies - 2003
60 x 50 inches (152.4 x 127 cm)
Shimon Okshteyn Shimon Okshteyn’s new work consists of ten monumental mixed media canvases and an exquisite glass sculpture. They are a powerful visual synthesis of images - each focusing on one object which has been minutely examined and serves as a pretext for reflections on the fragility of life and the proximity of death. This exhibition is as aggressive as any of Okshteyn’s previous ventures, yet to a greater extent, reveals a forgiving intimacy and sensuality.
As Okshteyn’s seductive and satisfying draftsmanship reveals, the artistic process is a Sysyphean task of creation and destruction as he builds up surface, accumulates marks, and eradicates them with a swordsman-like flourish. We see an appreciation akin to that of an archaeologist/connoisseur as Okshteyn seeks out the eloquent object, the vessel which becomes the focus and matrix of his artistic alchemy, to be transformed in paint, graphite, pencil, line, texture, smudge, eradication, scar, accumulation of mark upon mark in an intensive, exacting, laborious process driven by an uncompromising vision. Shimon Okshteyn, 2003
Referential Home - 2002
oil and gold leaf on wood
24 x 31 inches (60.96 x 78.74 cm)
In the “civilization” paintings I focus on the home, in particular the California vernacular architecture known as “bungalow-style”. Its recurring use in my work is similar to the use of recurring themes in their 13th and 14th century religious counterparts. In selecting an appropriate symbol for “home”, I chose a specific type of house which I grew up seeing in California. A modern scene painted slowly on panel with oil paint and a gold leaf background reminiscent of the 14th century is about both timelessness and time spent. In the Still-Life’s I have succumbed to the temptation of doing a subject so old and so ubiquitous to painting that it seems almost absurd, yet is still endearing and timeless. In these paintings I want to infuse the subject with more of it’s traditional meaning; “hyper-traditional”, but not ironic. I want to bring out the simplicity, the sense of time and equanimity. The larger-than-life scale helps to push the subject’s inherent qualities. It is meant to “contemporize” it by giving it a cinematic size and splendor.
The subject in both motifs of this thematic minimalism is not only the objects depicted, it has always been us: the epicure, the husbandman, the host, the home owner, the handyman.
The element of age, and the use of earlier painting styles is meant to create a venerable artifact in order to elicit a respect for a subject matter that ordinarily we would see as mundane, so that we can re-examine the everyday in a different light.
The figure paintings are theatrical pieces. They are situations, plays, tableaus, and formal compositions composed of “characters” from different sources forming a story or scene that may be metaphorical, anecdotal, or both. I am quoting from the existing artistic heritage so that the characters become part of the cultural fabric and seem to have an established existence in order to deepen the play of ideas.
Robert Ginder, 2003
Metro - 2003
24 x 24 inches (60.96 x 60.96)
Daniel Douke For thirty years as a practicing artist I have viewed the world as a realist. It has always been the straight forwardness of representational painting that has engaged me. Conceptually my work is concerned with the dichotomy of observational truths and abstract values. A constant has been my desire for the works to be specific and non-idealized and appear to be part of the real world.
Currently flowers are the subject of my oil and acrylic on canvas paintings. Specifically the rose, representing classic beauty. The challenge was to make this disregarded subject in contemporary art, fresh, beautiful and powerful. I want the work to become a thoughtful, delicate inquiry, and a tribute to the beauty and mutability of nature.
Daniel Douke, 2003
Sauk City, Wisconsin - 1993
silver gelatin print
13 x 17 inches (33.02 x 43.18 cm)
Koch's images have been described as “remarkable and mesmeric,” “relentless,” and as “a kind of hallucinatory documentary.” Throughout his work, he expresses a desire to organize disparate experience into a unified whole— to give form to the fragmented aspects of what we call ‘reality.’ A review of his work, by James Hugunin, suggests that
Koch's assemblages wed the ‘cool’ detachment of conceptualism to the mysteriousness of the photographic ‘equivalent.’ What contemporary theory understands as two wholly incompatible methods— one materialist, the other idealist— Koch has synthesized in aesthetic terms through a keen eye and an astute sense of formal and conceptual linkage.
Drawing upon elements of sculpture, text, architecture, performance and ‘readymades,’ his prints and assemblages call attention to the mundane and unremarkable elements of everyday life, to ‘recognize’ these as the building blocks of our daily existence.
Lewis Koch, 2003
No. 868-7/18/02 - 2002
mixed media on paper
12 x 6 inches (30.48 x 15.24 cm)
Inspired by my French correspondence since childhood I began this suite of collage works in 1997.
These collages include sections of old postcards, lead bands from the necks of wine bottles, magazine bindings and scraps and stamps from old letters. The bits and pieces of cut, torn and pasted papers and gouache painted envelopes are worked and reworked. With an economy of means they become organized at some point and resolve themselves with restraint and calm.
These are small meditative collages of irregular bands of colors, shapes, typography, scoring and subtle textures. Some are quiet, some are forceful, some are complex and some are spare and minimalist.
Suzanne Ulrich, 2003
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